The Seven Words from the Savior on the Cross: Atonement 3
Jesus’ spoken words from the cross emphasize the truths of forgiveness ("Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." Luke 23:34), hope ("Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Luke 23:43), love (“Woman, behold your son; behold your mother.” John 19:26-27) and atonement (Matthew 27:45-49).
“Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” (Matthew 27:45-49 ESV). See Mark 15:33-36.
To begin with, we witness the setting in vs. 45. “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour.” According to Jewish time, a day began at 6:00 a.m. and not Midnight. Therefore, according to Matthew and Mark’s gospel, the sixth hour is Noon. The Gospel of Mark in 15:25 also indicates the crucifixion began at the third hour. I.e. 9:00 a.m.
Along with the setting of atonement, we also witness Jesus’ statement of atonement in vs. 46. “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Next, we witness the significance of the atonement. This is declared throughout the New Testament.
John 1:29 – The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29 ESV).
Romans 5:6-8 – For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:6-8 ESV)
Galatians 3:13 – Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”— (Galatians 3:13 ESV; Deuteronomy 21:23).
Hebrews 9:27-28 – And just as it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment, so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. (Hebrews 9:27-28 ESV).
I Peter 2:20-25 – For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:20-25 ESV)
I Peter 3:18 - For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit, (1 Peter 3:18 ESV).